Kas entered the 2015 Manchester Marathon. Technically, I suppose, she entered the 2014 Manchester Marathon and then deferred it for a year after winning a place in the London Marathon ( see Marathon Weekend ). She won a place in the 2015 London Marathon too, so ended up doing two in the space of a week.
So, Manchester it is then!
We booked ourselves a family-sized room at the Jury’s Inn Manchester, on the basis that it was central, it has family rooms, and I had some air miles or bonus points with someone that meant we didn’t have to pay cash for it. The room was good, but as with many city centre hotels in the UK, the parking was, well, somewhere else.
We had a family weekend away, and drove up on Friday night so we could find a random parkrun to do on Saturday morning. Our entirely random choice was Worsey Woods parkrun, which is essentially a flat mile out along an old railway line, followed by a mile of off-piste in some very undulating woods, and then a final mile back the way you came. It proved to be a good course to run and Izzy ran a PB on it. That was a good start to the weekend. They had a nearby cafe too, althouh it was far enough away that they had to explain it to us. That had us sorted for breakfast.
We spent Saturday afternoon doing different things. I obviously went geocaching, because that’s what I do. Neither of the kids wanted to come with me, so Kas spent an afternoon trying to keep them happy in the fundamental boring location of a hotel room, whilst trying to rest up herself. Hmmm!
Anyway, my caching walk proved to be moderately fruitful for a session of urban caching – they are always a bit slow compared to countryside caching – and over the course of the afternoon I found a total of 19 caches of varying types.
I got back to the hotel reasonably early and we all got cleaned up and went out to meet a few other runners we know at a local generic chain Italian restaurant. I think it was a Pizza Express, but I can’t really remember.
Race day began with an early breakfast at the hotel and then a frustrating drive down towards Old Trafford. It was particularly frustrating for Kas, because she’d pre-paid some parking at the stadium but we got stuck in a massive traffic jam and she ended up having to jump out of the car and walk half a mile down the road to get to the race on time. Me and the girls got there eventually, but we lost sight of Kas and didn’t see her again until she passed us during the race.
Speaking of which, while Kas was running the girls and me tried to follow her around on the tram system. It took us ages to find Trafford Bar Station, and from there we made a fairly short hop down to Brooklands Station, at which point we were in urgent need of a toilet. Thankfully there was a pub open, although it was a major squeeze to get in and it wasn’t especially clean inside.
From the station, we made our way out onto the road and found a bunch of other Redway Runners who were out-and-about on waving and cheering duty. Anyone would think there was an event on.
On the trip back we were bright enough to jump off the tram at Old Trafford Cricket Ground and so were able to make our way back up to the football stadium quickly. We arrived just in time to see Kas coming up the final stretch and into the finish. Well done to her!
The trip home was pretty much uneventful. Kas never really eats much straight after finishing a race so we drove a big chunk towards home before stopping in some motorway services for a late lunch.
The house was where we left it, which is always handy.